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You Can Turn E.Coli Bacteria into Microscopic Fuel Factories

How a canister of germs in your garage could replace the gas station.

At some point in your life, Escherichia coli has probably brought you to your knees to pray to the porcelain god. Common bacteria that often live harmlessly in the guts of most animals, a few strains of it can cause anything from food poisoning to death in humans. But, according to news out of Washington University in St. Louis last month, it may also be the key in our quest to find a renewable, environmentally safe fuel source.

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As Gas Prices Hit a Record High This Weekend, How to Keep Fuel Costs Down

You're not the only one feeling pain at the pump this weekend. But the best way to keep fuel costs down isn't drilling.

As you can see in the chart above, gas prices during this Memorial Day weekend are the highest they've been in over ten years. You'll notice that the group responsible for the chart isn't a proponent of expanding offshore drilling or stripping the E.P.A. or Interior Departments of regulatory authority over oil lease permits. Rather, they're a group that is advocating for higher fuel efficiency standards.

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Check Out the Fuel Efficiency Stickers That Will Show Up on Every New Car

Today, the government unveiled its design for fuel-efficiency stickers that will go on every new car. Will they help Americans make better purchases?

Last summer, Andrew reported on some "excruciatingly clear" new fuel efficiency labels that the Department of Transportation and the EPA were jointly proposing to put on cars. One of the options called for a loud, bold letter grade: A through F. They would've looked something like this:

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Chart: It's Impossible to Reduce Our Dependence on Foreign Oil with Domestic Drilling

It's simple: The only way to reduce our dependence on foreign oil is to reduce our dependence on all oil.

I'm constantly frustrated with the knee-jerk "drill here, drill now" proposal for dealing with high gas prices. I know it seems pretty intuitive: Drill more oil, create more supply, prices go down. Unfortunately, the nuances of the international crude market don't allow for such simple economics.

First off, the United States has only 2 percent of the world's oil reserves. Even if we were to drill at full capacity in every known reserve on land and offshore, the impact on international markets would still be minimal.

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Chart: Why $4-Per-Gallon Gas Is Damn Cheap

Even at $4-per-gallon, American gasoline is damn cheap compared to most of the world. See how much drivers in other countries shell out per gallon.

Inspired by Cord's thought-provoking post on the per gallon prices of various liquids, and by Sarah Palin's ill-informed Facebook rant on the "$4-Per-Gallon President," I decided to take a closer look at gasoline prices around the world. Mrs. Palin might be interested to learn, that the world already has quite a few $4-Per-Gallon Presidents. In fact, the world already has $6-Per-Gallon Parliaments, $7-Per-Gallon Prime Ministers, and $8-Per-Gallon Presidents!

We've collected a broad sample of gas prices from throughout the industrialized Western world in the chart below. Important to note: this chart includes only official data from throughout the European Union and North America. I've included some self-reported gas prices from a handful of relevant nations below the chart.

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